‘Tis the Season to be Jolly, and once you have yourself organised for the season it is time to let your hair down with your friends and family. But before all that you have to navigate your way around the office Christmas party. For many this will be no problem, you’ve worked with the same people for years and you all get along well, for others it may induce a sense of fear and apprehension. But for everyone there are a few simple rules to enjoying your Christmas party, and still coming out of it with your reputation and your dignity in-tact.
- Watch you alcohol levels – remember that every embarrassing story you have ever heard about a Christmas party started with ‘I’d had a few drinks…’ The problem is that what seems like a great idea when you’ve had too many cocktails may not seem too clever in the light of day. So be smart, enjoy a few drinks but if you get to the point where you find your judgement might be somewhat compromised, it’s time to hit the water.
- Mind you P’s & Q’s – you may be feeling more relaxed and the different atmosphere to what your used to might make you feel a little bit braver, but this is not the time to tell Barry in Accounts that you think he’s weird, he will not see the funny side of it. Be cordial and polite, just as you would be in work.
- Talk to as many people as you can – you can look at the Christmas party as an opportunity to network, or as a way to get to know your colleagues better or simply as a way to let people get to know you – but make sure you get around the room and don’t just sit down talking to the usual people.
- Don’t moan or oversell yourself – If you find yourself talking to your boss, take the opportunity to let them get to know you better, but don’t oversell yourself in the hope that your boss will remember every word and magically offer you a pay rise. Also, don’t complain about one colleague to another, or worse to your boss. This will just make you look petty, and you run the risk of being overheard. Keep things light – have a conversation, even about work but don’t cross the border into negative comments – the only person these make look bad are you.
- Enjoy yourself – It’s easy to let yourself be too self-conscious when you are surrounded by people you would not normally socialise with, but remember to relax as well. They are all probably feeling exactly the same way as you and it’s important to remember that it’s not beyond you to enjoy the company of your colleagues in a social situation.